Barely Half of All Charities Require Board Member Contributions
(Jan. 21, 2008) A new survey by accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP reveals that just slightly more than half of charities require their board members to make financial contributions to their organizations.
In the past, many charities have employed a “give or get” policy where board members are required either to contribute to the organization or to solicit contributions from friends, colleagues and other contacts. However, the survey, the fifth annual National Board Governance Survey for Not-for-Profit Organizations, shows that requiring board members to personally give is slowly becoming the norm.
“Board members are increasingly expected by other constituencies and stakeholders to set the example by personally making significant contributions,” said Frank Kurre, national managing partner of Grant Thornton LLP’s nonprofit practice.
Board Contribution Expectations
The survey also looked at how much board members are expected to give based on the budget size of the organization. The table below shows the range of gift expectations for board members, with the size of expected gifts increasing as the budget size of organizations increases.
|If board members are expected to make a financial contribution to the organization, how much of a contribution is expected on an annual basis? (By the organization’s budget size)|
$20M - $50M
$50M - $100M
$1,000 or less
$1,001 - $2,500
$2,501 - $5,000
$5,001 or more
AFP Member Organizations See Significant Board Giving
AFP’s 2006 State of Fundraising Survey also asked participants about board giving, specifically what percentage of their boards of directors financially support the organization. Respondents reported a significant amount of board giving.
Nearly nine in 10 respondents (87.4 percent) in AFP’s survey reported more than half of their board members made gifts to their organizations. In addition, more than seven in 10 respondents (70.6 percent) said that at least 80 percent of their board members contributed to their fundraising efforts, and about 60 percent indicated that more than 90 percent supported the organization financially.
At the other end of the spectrum, 4.4 percent of respondents saw minimal participation (0 to 10 percent) from their board members. Another 8.3 percent of respondents experienced board participation in the 11–50 percent range.
These numbers show an increase in board participation figures from the 2005 survey. In 2005, almost half of respondents (47.5 percent) reported that nearly all of their board members (90 percent or more) made gifts to their organization. About 10 percent of respondents reported that their board members barely participated at all (0 to 10 percent).
About the Survey
A copy of Grant Thornton’s fifth annual National Board Governance Survey for Not-for-Profit Organizations is available free of charge online.
The survey was conducted in September 2007. Responses to the web-based survey were received from 603 nonprofit executives and board members in 47 states and the District of Columbia.
Grant Thornton LLP is the U.S. member firm of Grant Thornton International, one of the six global accounting, tax and business advisory organizations.